This old Berserk trailer is pretty awesome

Well it is.

This Berserk AMV is also pretty awesome. (Also a little NSFW I guess)

Have I mentioned that I really like Berserk?

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Anime Review: Ga-Rei-Zero Limited Edition

I’m going to spend the introduction drawing parallels between Berserk and Ga-Rei-Zero because that’s just the kind of guy I am. After all, I am always saying that I want more things like Berserk to get made. Well Ga-Rei-Zero is kind of the thing I’m looking for, though not in the manner I intended. Berserk is a medieval dark fantasy story filled with swords demons, while Ga-Rei-Zero is a modern supernatural story filled with swords and ghosts. The similarity is actually in the story structure and certain plot elements. Both series tell their story in a circular manner; starting in the present, then jumping to the past and working their way back to the present. Both spend the parts that deal with the past exploring the relationship between the protagonist and the antagonist, and how they ultimately became enemies. Both also have an evil little red crystal serving as the catalyst for everything going straight to hell. It’s like someone somewhere heard that I wanted more things like Berserk, but misinterpreted what I meant by that. Now that that’s out of the way…

Ga-Rei-Zero is a prequel to the manga series, Ga-Rei, and focuses on the past of the characters Kagura and Yomi. The two of them are members of the Supernatural Disasters Countermeasures Division known as Vanquishers, tasked with destroying evil spirits. When a squad sent out to deal with a large group of spirits is mysteriously wiped out, Kagura and her allies are shocked to find that Yomi was the one who killed them. The ensuing battle pits the two former sisters against one another, as Kagura is left with no other option than to kill Yomi.

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Anime review: He is My Master

Yoshitaka Nakabayashi, a 14-year-old millionaire who got this huge inheritance after his parents died in an accident, found himself needed to be taken care of and tried to hire live-in maids to do the job. Two runaway girls, Izumi Sawatari and her younger sister Mitsuki, stumped into Nakabayashi’s mansion and got hired by Yoshitaka immediately, for Yoshitaka is not only a rich boy but also a pervert with uniform fetishes, who wants to be addressed as goshujin-sama (master). Having nowhere else to settle down along with Mitsuki’s pet alligator Pochi, Izumi accepted the job reluctantly.

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Plot:

A majority of the episodes in He is My Master follows a simple formulaic method to its madness.  Izumi is not happy with her life, yells at Yoshitaka about it, breaks something, and a contest happens which more stuff breaks and Yoshitaka gets violently beaten up.  This also provides a lot of the humor in the series.  While this is funny at times, it does get old after a while.  In the latter half of the series, there is a sense of plot that comes about however this feels like it was tacked on just to have a plot.  The plot that does come about in the last half of the series does go somewhere it would be nice for it to have been all the way through the series and not just in the last half.

If there is one thing that sets He is My Master apart from other shows in this genre is the male lead.  In a major of harem or harem like comedies, the male lead is usually passive, likeable, and is in some ways a doormat.  Not the male lead for this show.  Yoshitaka is aggressive, perverted, makes fan service style, and has no friends.  He is not afraid to spy on the girl while they are getting baths, or above sexually harassing his live in maids.  While this is a nice change of pace from what is expected in these types of show, Yoshitaka is unlikeable as a character.

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Just Who IS This Guy? The Head Trip of Haruhi Suzumiya Pt. 3

 

"Let's see ..... Excedrin? Qualude? Cyanide maybe?" Credit: Kyoto Animation

 

Just Who IS This Guy? The Head Trip of Haruhi Suzumiya Pt. 3

In this installment I’ll go into what I think is the biggest head whack of all in The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. No it’s not Endless Eight. While a bold experiment, it fell rather flat with the fans in Japan (So much so, Aya Hirano & the studio made a public apology.). A lot of U.S. fans weren’t too happy with it either. Eight eps (Weeks?) of the “same” thing? Could have been worse. Be glad it wasn’t Endless EighTEEN! Maybe Kyoto Animation could come up with a “third” season. Take out 5 or 6 of Endless Eight, replacing them with eps from an untouched story arc(s) from the light novels.

For me, the biggest trip/mystery of the series is that Kyon person.

Who IS this guy? Kyon (A nickname given him by an unseen grandparent.) isn’t even his real name. No older relations are ever seen (Adults being peripheral, at best, in this series.). His little sister doesn’t have a name at all (Every one else refers to her as “little sister”. Even in the closing credits.)

Though not the title character, he is the main one. As “narrator”, everything is seen from his POV, filling in & keeping things rolling.

You’re not sure at times if he’s narrating, thinking, talking to someone, or just mumbling/whining to himself. These things run/meld into each other. It always takes me aback when another character unexpectedly replies. (Itsuke claims an inability to read minds & it’s not certain Haruhi can either. At times they “respond” when it seems Kyon wasn’t talking to anyone at all.)

Sometimes he acts surprised when something strange happens. Other times not. Does he know more than what he lets on? Is he really the hapless mortal he’s playing?

In spite of his “ordinaryness”, he figures greatly in Haruhis’ scheme of things. He did, after all, get the ball rolling (ep 1) when he suggested she (who must be obeyed) be more of a mover & shaker in life. (Coming from a guy who wanted to coast & slide through life, don’t you find that a bit…..odd?) For some reason she has “chosen” him & her jealousy is, at times, evident.

Kyon is the only one who stands up to Haruhi. The others are “forced” to go along as they’re observers for their respective factions (Could they actually be there to observe Kyon & not Haruhi?). In spite of Haruhis’ self centered obnoxiousness, she actually listens to him & takes his advice…..sometimes.

I wonder about this guy. Is he more of a force in the proceedings than we’re led to believe? (Here’s a guy who had all given up on anything wondrous happening in life, reduced to a jaded cynic (ep 1), only to have “IT!” dropped right in his lap.) Could he be the one making things happen & not Haruhi? Is this all nothing more than some fantastic form of (sub)concious wish fullfilment on his part?

Maybe I’m thinking too much. When it comes down to it, it’ only a “cartoon”, right, right?

Article copyright © 10-22-10 Jay Agan

This article originally published at http://jaysteevee.blogspot.com/

Tales of the Abyss 3DS coming to North America

An image from the latest issue of Nintendo Power had already revealed this, but today Rich Bantegui, the Namco Bandai Community Manager, confirmed via Twitter that the 3DS port of Tales of the Abyss will be receiving an English release.

Originally released for the PS2 in 2005, Tales of the Abyss tells the story of the son of a noble family, Luke fon Fabre. After being kidnapped as a child he suffered a case of amnesia, remembering nothing from before he was rescued, and since then has been forbidden from leaving his house. When a mysterious girl breaks into his family’s home and attempts to take the life of his mentor, a strange event occurs that transports him and the girl far away, outside the borders of his own country. The girl agrees to help Luke get back home, and with her he sets out on his first venture into the outside world.

There is no word on a release date at this time.